coming to LA and asked Bonnie and me if we'd like to take a ride over
poke around the Keystone Studio area (he can tell you more about that
When we finished up there, of course we had to go down the street the
blocks to Echo Park, the one where, with a Girl and a Cop, Charlie shot
so many of the Keystone one- and two-reelers. As we were getting ready
to leave, since it was around lunchtime and we were relatively close
I suggested we get a sandwich at Phillipe's, an old haunt from way back
in my college days. Besides, I had a vague recollection of
talking about shooting some stuff for The Kid in that area.
We pulled into
Union Station just
3 blocks from the Santa Fe depot (where Charlie and Rollie and Jack
had high-tailed it out of town to keep the neg. from Mildred's lawyers)
and parked. As we got out of the car, Gerald said, "That's it! That's
building! Ya know, sometimes I just have a 'feel' for something, and I
think this is it."
We went across the
street and shot
a few pictures, then it was on to French-dip and the drive home (but
before a little inconclusive snooping around Boyle Heights for the old
Majestic Studio location).
A couple of days
later Gerald called,
asking for confirmation, "We were right, weren't we?" He had checked
photos against the film, which I couldn't do 'cause he had the
But what I had done was to go back to Grandpop's recollections. It
out he was far more precise than I had remembered. Here's what he said:
Rollie click here MP3 file.
provided by David Totheroh
Oh, and in The Kid,
downtown, or uh, where he was running over rooftops and everything, and
he jumped into the automobile or, the little truck that they were
Jackie to the asylum, orphanage asylum, the alley that he caught up to
the truck in, Charlie jumped over and into the truck and grabbed the
and the attendent that was drivin' the truck to the orphanage asylum
around and saw Charlie, well, that locale, today is uh, uh, what's the
name of that alley down there, Mexican alley?
Oh, you mean the
Yeah, Olvera Street.
Oh, is that the
Yeah, Olvera Street.
Nothin on it but the backs of some old buildings. Little alley goin'
|This as an
excerpt of an interview
with Rollie, his brother Dan and grandson Steve at Christmastime 1964.
So, if you're in the
of Los Angeles and want to make some Chaplin connections, head on down
to that little Mexican Alley, Olvera Street. And as you walk about half
way up that short block, along the west side, take a look around.
find yourself standing at the exact location, over 80 years later, of
of the most moving and memorable scenes from a true Chaplin classic,